Athanasius Kircher’s Magnetic Clock


The machine is inspired by a seventeenth century machine designed to prove the motion of the earth, but really worked by a trick as revealed by the seventeenth century Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher. The machine uses hidden magnets to make the globe of the Earth rotate slowly. The fish made of glass, hovers mysteriously in the liquid and points to the correct time on the globe, so the machine is really a clock and a miniature model of the universe at the same time. The machine is now housed in Stanford University Libraries in the Lane Reading Room.